My youngest son was about 3 years old, and we were in the kitchen. I was trying to put dinner together. Brody was glued to my leg, chattering away. I was only listening with half an ear while I gathered ingredients to make dinner.
Apparently, little Brody realized his Mommy was not paying attention, so he started tugging on my arm, saying "Mommy, Mommy - listen, Mommy!"
I leaned down to hug his sturdy little body, the curls on his head tickling my nose. "Mommy IS listening," I assured him. He wiggled in my arms until he got both of his chubby little hands on both my cheeks. His brown eyes looked into mine, as he said earnestly, "Listen with your eyes too, Mommy."
Children have a way of teaching you things that nobody else can. That long ago day in my kitchen, my little toddler taught me something about focus and listening - that it isn't just a passive activity but a whole body attitude.
That whole body attitude of listening, of giving our entire focus, of being truly present in the moment is so often missing in my life - with my kids, my husband, on the phone with a friend and even in my time with God. It seems there always seems to be something waiting to snatch my attention or at least part of it.
Today, as I studied the last chapter of Ephesians, I got to the verses that talk about the armor of God. After this list of armor, it says in verse 18, "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints."
To be completely honest, I haven't really been doing this the past few weeks. I find myself looking at the clock, realizing how late it is getting and hurrying off with an apologetic mumble to God about getting up earlier tomorrow and how we'll really spend time together - tomorrow.
You know how it is though - tomorrow never comes. Instead, days, weeks speed by, and my soul feels thirsty. My circumstances feel overwhelming and I can't seem to find clarity or peace or perseverance.
It's not as if I don't pray, but they are more of the "shoot em up" types of prayers as I go about my day.
I go through my prayer list. But it is hurried, haphazard - too many days I'm distracted, only half focused while a separate compartment of my brain is busy sorting through the day ahead.
The busyness though - it's a lie.
With two boys in sports, a husband who works a lot, a couple part time jobs and trying to keep our family in groceries and clean clothes, life does get busy.
But we all - myself included - make time for what is truly important to us. For what isn't, we just make excuses.
Am I really telling God that I'm too busy to give him my whole, entire focus and attention for an hour of my day?
The God of the universe. The God who created everything my feet and fingers touch. The God who sent His Son to die for me. The God who holds out His hand and invites me into a deep, personal relationship with Him. That God?
It seems ridiculous doesn't it? I mean, if the President called and wanted to meet with me, would I tell him I'm too busy and my to do list was too long? Would I say, Okay, but I can only give you 15 minutes because I'm really pressed for time?
That's sort of laughable isn't it? But I do it all the time to God, and He's way more, well, just more than any human being could possibly be.
I don't know about you, but I want to listen to God, not just with my ears, but with both my eyes too.
How do you practice being present?
~ Blessings, Bronte